The state of Georgia almost missed out on the treat of seeing one of its best athletes perform on the football field for his senior year. Donavan Tate of Cartersville, Ga. is one of the top major league baseball prospects in the nation but he also happens to be one of the top athletes in the nation on the football field. After a summer filled with a daily baseball grind, Tate came close to foregoing the gridiron for the diamond. Now that he is back in Georgia, the allure of the pads was too much to resist.
"It was a tough decision at first because this summer I was playing baseball all summer and I was staying busy playing baseball all day and I thought that was what I really wanted to focus on," Tate said. "But it's pretty much always like that. Whatever season I'm in, I'm all about that. I'm all about whatever sport I'm in. But when I went back, I just didn't want to have any regrets."
Tate missed the first two games of the season due to All-American Baseball events that he was attending. He also missed a number of practices making it difficult for him to step back into the quarterback position he excelled at as a junior. However with his team off to a 4-2 start, Tate expects to head back under center for the remainder of the season.
"I've been playing safety," Tate said. "I played some wide receiver. I'm playing quarterback now. I haven't played quarterback yet but we had an off-week this week so I got more work at quarterback."
Versatile enough to play any number of positions on the football field as well as any number of sports on other fields, Tate has been a name of interest for some of the top football programs in the nation. All of the schools that have been recruiting him understand his two-sport aspirations and have expressed their approval.
Like many other top recruits, Tate has begun to think about official visits and already has three set up. The visit schedule kicks off this weekend.
"I'm actually taking a visit to tomorrow to USC," Tate said on Thursday night. "I'm leaving tomorrow morning. It's an official visit. I set it up early on this week. It's our week off and USC is far away so it is a good weekend to do it. I've been liking USC for a long time and It will be good to take a visit out there."
Tate was on campus at USC earlier this summer for a baseball event and had a chance to see USC's first practice with its freshmen and newcomers and followed that up by meeting with the coaching staff and Pete Carroll. This weekend, Tate just hopes to enjoy himself.
"It's not my first time seeing it so I just want to go there and see the game and the game-day atmosphere and all that," he said.
The USC visit places the Trojans in Tate's current top three which also consists of North Carolina and Michigan, two other schools at which Tate has set up official visits.
"North Carolina and Michigan are the other two that I'm for sure visiting," he said. "I haven't really decided anything else. I'm going up to North Carolina when they play NC State and I'm going to Michigan when they play Michigan State. Those are my top three (Michigan UNC, USC) right now but I'm still interested in a lot of other schools."
Tate plans on taking all five of his official visits and deciding on a school following that process.